NFIB New Jersey State Director Pens Letter to Legislators
To: Chairman Sarlo, and Vice-Chairwoman Cunningham & Members of the Senate Budget Committee
From: Eileen Kean, State Director National Federation of Independent Businesses
RE: NFIB Testimony on New Jersey’s FY2022 State Budget
On behalf of NFIB, representing thousands of small businesses in New Jersey, thank you for the opportunity to share our concerns regarding New Jersey’s FY 2022 State Budget.
As you know, independent businesses in New Jersey have been severely impacted by COVID-19. Over one third of the State’s small businesses have closed and those open are struggling to stay alive. New Jersey was one of the worst hit states in the country in the number of COVID-19 diagnosed cases as well as the number of deaths. These factors have had across the board ramifications for all types of businesses – personal care, restaurants, boutique retail, car and limousine services, gyms, print shops, etc. As we turn the corner and the vaccination roll out increases, the State must provide economic relief to support all the main streets across our 21 counties.
We are grateful there are no new taxes in the Governor’s proposed budget as businesses are already experiencing an affordability crisis. Struggling with operating during COVID has exacerbated the high cost of business ownership in New Jersey. We have both the highest property taxes and Corporation Business Taxes (CBT) in the nation. New Jersey businesses are also facing a billion-dollar Unemployment Trust Fund (UI) increase over the next few years. Providing UI relief as opposed to the current phased-in increase scheduled for July 2022 would be a monetary benefit for all businesses. The American Rescue Plan provides the Legislature with the opportunity to put federal funds into New Jersey’s UI as many other states have done.
While NFIB applauds the addition of another $50 million into the Main Street Recovery Fund more resources are still needed for the small business community recovery. Previous New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) programs to assist businesses were immediately oversubscribed, cutting many small businesses out of the process. We urge the Legislature to dedicate at least $300 million to the Fund.
It is disturbing that so much of the budget relies on borrowed money because the debt the state has incurred impacts subsequent budgets. By supporting small businesses, the backbone of our economy, New Jersey will be investing in the future. NFIB thanks the Assembly Budget Committee for considering the issues we have raised. We remain hopeful that the Legislature can lead New Jersey forward as we move into post-pandemic economic recovery.